White Brick School Finniwig Studios KebIrish Gazette Ariadne Threads Guild

Volume 9, Issue 2

May 1, 2006


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Joseph Leo Berger, Sr.

Bridging St. Joseph River

Library of Michigan Cemetery Database

South Bend Lathe Works

Family Favorites - Spaghetti with Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

Photos of the Past

Joseph Leo

Berger, Sr.


Born in 1859 to Joseph and Magdalina Berger Joseph Leo Berger Sr. married a Columbus, Ohio girl in abt. 1877. Louise Henrietts Schmidt, also born in 1859 was the daughter of John Frederick Schmidt, St. and Catherine Wilhelmina Euler.

Joseph was the proprietor of Berger & Schmidt Meats and of Stall No. 24 on Central Market in Columbus.

They had ten children, all born in Columbus, Ohio. Mary Magdalena, born 1878, married Frederick John Stambaugh in 1896. In 1869 Mary died in Franklin Co., Ohio.

Louise Marie , born 1880, married Jacob Koenig Becker in 1899. Louise died in 1974 in Millersport, Ohio.

Joseph Leo Jr., born 1882, was married twice. His first wife was Mary Rose Scales and his second wife was Rosa Schmidt. Joseph died in 1957 in Columbus.

Frederick Michael, born 1884, married Clara Josephine Wolf in 1904. He died in 1937 in Columbus.

Mary Katherine, born 1886, married George Edward Thomas. She died in 1934.

Lewis Leo, born 1888, married Elanor Esther Theiss. He died in 1964.

Henry William, Sr., born 1889, married Helen Rosele.

Florence Ann, born 1893 married Frank Rudolph Fenstermaker, She died in 1956.

William Henry, born 1897, died in 1910.

Arthur Peter, born 1901 married Josephine Marie Pugh.


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Bridging St. Joseph River
In 1834, a ferry was established to carry iron ore and people from one side of the St. Joseph River to the other, but it proved to be inadequate and unsatisfactory. In the spring of 1835, a public subscription list was circulated for the building of a public bridge, and preparations were made for a bridge to be constructed early the following year. Mr. DeCamp of Elkhart County was given the contract to build the bridge in Mishawaka. It was successfully completed in August 1836 at a total cost of $2,499.

The timbers for the bridge were cut and rafted down the river from Elkhart (possibly from the Bancroft Sawmill, the first water-powered sawmill on the river, built by Zelates Bancroft in 1831 on Baugo Creek near the village of Osceola). The bridge was called “Bent Bridge” because it was somewhat higher in the center than on the ends. This bridge was considered a substantial structure in those days, and it was the first spanning the St. Joseph River.

The bridge was 14 feet wide and nailed onto heavy oak sleepers which rested on wooden pilings driven into the riverbed. The railings were composed of three 6-inch fence boards spiked on either side. Before the Mishawaka Bridge, the river had been forded at Twin Branch and at another ford a little below the present dam. The life of this bridge was rather short, lasting only nine years. The out-going ice in the spring of 1846 played havoc with the north pier.

In 1847, a covered bridge, called the “Red Bridge,” was completed at a cost of $8,700 and was one of the prominent landmarks in Mishawaka. It spanned the St. Joseph River at Bridge Street (now known as Main Street) before a subsequent iron bridge replaced it. The covered bridge was 300 feet long, a boxlike structure, pierced on the up-river side with 20-by-30 inch openings 14 feet apart to admit some light. Yet it was a dark and gloomy place, especially spooky and scary at night.

The bridge was used by teams and wagons as well as pedestrians to cross the river. It was not uncommon to see cows, hogs and horses kept in the bridge at night for shelter. The public complained of the odor, so a partition was added along the east side as a public walkway. For a long time, Horace B. Fitch kept the candles burning at night on the bridge. He was paid $3 per month and had to furnish the candles.

The old covered bridge was condemned on May 12, 1873. The town board immediately began to make preparations for a new bridge to be erected the following year by advertising for 150 cords of stones for abutments at $8 per cord. The iron bridge replaced the covered bridge in 1874. The covered bridge lasted 27 years. The iron bridge was then replaced by a modern concrete bridge.

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Library of Michigan Cemetery Database
If you are searching for your ancestors in Michigan, check the Library of Michigan’s online database at michigancemeteries.libraryof-michigan.org. The Library of Michigan has one of the largest collections of genealogy materials in the nation and this database is another tool for navigating those resources.

This database identifies the location of more than 3,700 Michigan cemeteries and lists sources at the Library of Michigan where researchers can find the names of those buried in each cemetery.

Information on the database can be accessed by cemetery name, county, township, specific location and keyword. The record for each cemetery contains detailed information about its


 location and whether the Library of Michigan has a transcription or a listing of persons buried at a cemetery taken from cemetery records or copied directly from headstones. Transcription sources also may include sexton’s records, obituaries or other historical information. Click on michigan cemeterieslibraryof

michigan.org/search.aspx to begin your search.

You will get a page listing the cemetery. Clicking on the View column will bring up a screen showing the sources of information available at the library. This may include books or microfilm. Clicking on a book source number will give you information about the book.

Clicking on the microfilm citation shows all the entries on the microfilm roll.

Other cemetery sources include the Rootsweb cemetery registry at www.rootsweb.com/~cemetery/


Start by clicking on the state that you are researching. Then click on the county. There are various ways that sources may be listed on the county pages.

St. Joseph County, Indiana lists two cemeteries with clickable links to an e-mail address for information. It also lists a clickable link for St. Joseph County cemeteries with information for the purchase of cemetery records as well as a link to a surname cemetery index, both sponsored by the South Bend Area Genealogy Society.

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South Bend Lathe Works
John and Miles O’Brien were twins, born in Ireland in 1868 and brought to Connecticut in the early 1870s. They enrolled at Purdue University after Thomas Edison suggested they study engineering.

They started the South Bend Machine Tool Co. in 1906 and South Bend Lathe Works in 1907, the year they published “How to Run a Lathe.”

The brothers started the shop in a rented building on Washington Street and soon moved to a building at Madison Street and Niles Avenue. They used to trade off being president and chairman every two years.

Miles died in 1936. John died in 1946. Amsted Industries bought the company in 1959 and moved it to a former Studebaker building on Sample Street in the mid-1960s.

 Difficulties with labor and economic conditions have plagued the company, whichwent through a bankruptcy in the early 1990s and was briefly evicted in 2002.

Employees Carmine Martino, Charlotte Vrabel and Joe Mittiga bought the company and reopened it in the fall of 2002.

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Family Favorites

Spaghetti with Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs



4 oz. Provolone cheese, cut into 12 (3/4”) cubes

1/2 tsp, dried Italian seasoning

1-1/2 lbs. Ground beef

2 eggs

1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs

2 Tbs. Chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbs. Grated Romano cheese

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Pepper

2 Tbs. Oil, preferably olive

1 jar (26 oz) marinara pasta sauce

12 oz. Spaghetti

Toss provolone with Italian seasoning; reserve. In large bowl combine beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, Romano cheese, garlic, salt and pepper; shape into 12 balls. Using finger make small hole in each ball; insert provolone pieces into holes. Reform to enclose cheese completely. In large pot heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs, in batches if necessary, turning once, until browned, 5-6 minutes per side. Drain, if necessary. Add pasta sauce. Over high heat bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Transfer to serving platter. Top with meatballs and sauce.

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Photos of the Past

Wedding of Gustav Brunstrum and Edla Johnson

November 18, 1905 Chicago, Illinois

From left: Laura Johnson (maid of honor), unknown, Edla Amanda Johnson, Gustav Albin Brunstrum, Olive Nelson (flower girl)


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Keb/Irish Gazette
 Nancy (Keb) Tubbs
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Bristol, IN 46507-9405

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